Is your elderly relative experiencing above average gastrointestinal distress? As a family caregiver, it can be hard to care properly for your loved one when they have digestive issues. Sometimes they can have a bad reaction to a food they ate, but often seniors can develop chronic digestive problems that don’t go away very easily. You’ll want to pay attention to your elderly relative’s digestive issues because they are depending on you for senior care and health support.
Watch for Symptoms of Digestive Distress
Many things slow down in the body because of age, and the digestive system is one of them. The muscles that move food through the digestive tract are weaker and stiffer, and the body doesn’t produce as many digestive juices and acids. Common symptoms of gastrointestinal distress include heartburn, indigestion, abdominal tenderness, belching, flatulence, diarrhea, and constipation.
With extremely serious digestive issues, seniors may experience abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, nausea, fever and chronic diarrhea. If your elderly loved one is experiencing any of these serious symptoms, you or their senior care assistant needs to get them to a doctor soon.
Gastrointestinal distress can signal any number of digestive issues, including celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, peptic ulcers, GERD, Crohn’s disease, diverticular disease and more. You need to get your aging loved one to a doctor for treatment. Remember, early diagnosis is the best way for seniors to treat conditions affecting the digestive system.
Improving Digestive Health in the Elderly
While the digestive system can be affected by age, there are many healthy habits that elderly adults can adopt that boost digestion. You can assist your elderly loved one by supporting all efforts to improve overall health and specifically digestive issues. It only takes a few simple lifestyle changes to make significant changes to health and wellness.
The easiest things to do that impact the digestive system is to drink plenty of liquids and enjoy a healthy diet with adequate fiber. Seniors can sip water with each meal and drink throughout the day for maximum impact. Food like broth, tea, and juicy fruits and vegetables also count as fluids. Senior care assistants and other family members should include proper food and drink as often as they can.
Another thing that aides in digestion is activity
Whether they engage in actual exercise or merely stay active by walking, gardening or cleaning, seniors and their digestion will benefit. Activity levels help keep muscles along the digestive tract moving, easing the process. Certain medications may also affect digestion, so it’s a good idea to check with their doctor to ensure that there are no problematic side effects.
You want your elderly loved one to enjoy the best that life has to offer. However, if they are worried about abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, belching or heartburn, they won’t be able to engage with others the way they want to. Recognizing the symptoms of digestive disorders in the elderly is the first step toward treatment and a better way of life.
If you or an aging loved one is considering a Caregiver in Davis, CA, or the surrounding areas please contact the caring staff at ApexCare®. Proudly Serving Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, Solano, San Joaquin & Stanislaus counties. Call Today 877-916-9111